Find the Good News with Brother Oran Parker
Ep. 110 - The Best We Can Be - Beacon Series Ft. Kristi Hugstad - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 110 - The Best We Can Be - Beacon Series Ft. Kristi Hugstad - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

April 20, 2021
You’re listening to Find the Good News, Episode 110, “The Best We Can Be,” A Beacon Series conversation featuring Kristi Hustad, author of "Be You... Only Better: Real-life Self-care for Young Adults (And Everyone Else)" published by New World Library
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I don't really know what it was like for my mom and dad to raise a family, trying to keep their kids entertained, happy, and healthy with all the supplies it takes to provide shelter, education, and some type of security. As hard as they worked—and I do know they worked hard—I know we still ended up being parents ourselves, each with childhood traumas and fears to pick through, tripwires and triggers that have affected the way we each made our way forward into adulthood.
 
I can easily imagine that this is a story that's repeated over and again, and for all my sweat, blood, and tears, I am sure that I'm making mistakes right now that my children will have to work through.
 
So, if our parents are doing their level best, and their parents did their level best, and we are doing our level best, what else can we do to help our young people gain firm footing as they move forward into this messy world—much messier than the one we came from—and try to piece together an adult life filled with hope, happiness, stability, peace, and success?
 
This is where the work of my guest, Kristi Hugstad comes in with some answers in the form of her new book "Be You... Only Better: Real-life Self-care for Young Adults (And Everyone Else)."
 
I'll be 47 years old this year, and while this book may be targeted to young adults, I found myself consuming it with shocking excitement. In this new book, Kristi Hugstad offers a holistic approach to prepare young people for the world their about to entire, offering useful, practical information and real-world scenarios related to the subjects of diet, sleep, money, time, mental health, exercise, gratitude, and mindfulness. It all added up to one that thing, an important thing that I find sorely lacking in the world today, and that is hope.
 
In our visit, I learned that Kristi is full of hope, but it has been hard-won. Early in our conversation, you will discover what I discovered in reading her book, that it has been in journeying through great personal loss and deep grief that she has brought forth a message of self-betterment and healing.
 
Even as I approach 50 years on this earth, I find that I need to encounter teachers like Kristi. She reminds me of the teachers and mentors that touched my life as a young person, and how their lessons are durable to this day. While this particular work may be for young adults, I found that I fall into the category of everyone else, and perhaps you will discover this as well.
 
I left our conversation feel refreshed and even more motivated to offer my children the best version of me, a self that I am still crafting.
 
Now, it's time to consider that you, like me, may still have some things to learn about living well, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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Ep. 109 - The Law of Change - Beacon Series Ft. Margaret Meloni, Ph.D. - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 109 - The Law of Change - Beacon Series Ft. Margaret Meloni, Ph.D. - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

March 23, 2021
You’re listening to Find the Good News, Episode 109, “The Law of Change,” A Beacon Series conversation featuring Margaret Meloni, Ph.D., host of the Death Dhamma podcast and author of "Carpooling With Death: How Living With Death Will Make You Stronger, Wiser, and Fearless"
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There is a small note tacked to a piece of corkboard near my desk, the letters stark white against an inky black square. These words, "CHANGE IS THE LAW," have stared back at me from this small slip of paper for almost 20 years, serving as a reminder of the Buddha's teaching on impermanence, reminding me that everything that comes together eventually falls apart.
 
At first blush, this may seem like a dismal outlook, encouraging nihilism, and a glass-half-empty perspective that could be quite depressing. While I understand this, that has not been my personal experience with teachings on impermanence, change, nor death. The truth is that in accepting this trinity of decay as a natural, ever-present part of life, I have found a luminous jewel in life that tends to shine brighter when juxtaposed with death's looming presence.
 
In many ways, death is a door to life unfolded, be it minutes or years. At the very least, death is a tool that can be used to appreciate every precious, life-giving drop in a half-full-glass of water. This is the door in which my guest, Margaret Meloni, operates.
 
Margaret is the host of the Death Dhamma podcast, a unique series of conversations about death from a Buddhist perspective, and the author of "Carpooling With Death: How Living With Death Will Make You Stronger, Wiser, and Fearless." Having lost many of her dearest, treasured loved ones, Margaret is no stranger to death.
 
Through her book and her podcast, she has created a unique space and resource of practical wisdom, perspective, and comfort for those who may be navigating the difficult terrain of grief and loss. Margaret doesn't make promises, or outline some mystical formula to follow that will remove death's painful sting, and I think that is what I found most appealing. Instead, what I found was an honest approach to looking at the sting itself, understanding that death's painful shock is normal, but ultimately it too is in the throes of the great law of impermanence, fleeting just as it arrives.
 
Her personal Buddhist practice provides obvious, tactile teachings that have been a great vehicle through her own experiences with life, death, and grief. She has the lovely ability to share those lessons in textured, nuanced ways, making them more approachable to those in the throes of misfortune.
 
It is my hope that you will find our conversation useful in your own life, but more, if you have experienced the loss of a loved one, I would encourage you to seek out her podcast and her book.
 
Now, it's time to look directly at the visage of death, to know its imprint on the world of time, to accept change as a natural—even fruitful—part of life, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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Ep. 108 - The Prisoners - Beacon Series Ft. Venerable De Hong - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 108 - The Prisoners - Beacon Series Ft. Venerable De Hong - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

February 22, 2021
Find the Good News, Episode 108, “The Prisoners” A Beacon Series conversation featuring Venerable De Hong, Co-Founder of the Engaged Buddhist Alliance
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My father was a United States Marine that served as a combat engineer in the Vietnam war. On January 21, 1968, he was on the Marine base at Khe Sahn getting a short reprieve from the horrors of war. It was the Lunar New Year and the beginning of the Tet holiday. A cease-fire was about to begin, or at least that's what he thought. Instead, it was the beginning of a massive attack on United States forces by the communist forces of North Vietnam. He spoke of it often and as a young boy, I could barely enlarge my imagination enough to encompass what he shared.
 
The siege finally ended in July the same year. The miseries of the Vietnam war would leave a lasting impact on my daddy, the United States, and citizens of Vietnam who were soon to live under the iron boot of a North Vietnamese communist regime.
 
My guest and I did not speak about this during our visit. Instead, what I heard was his account of being a 5-year-old boy living in the shadow of the Vietnam war. During the holiday of Tet, while my father was fighting in a foxhole at Khe Sanh, my guest—only 5 years old—was being rushed from his bed in the middle of the night by his mother and father, pillow in hand, the evening sky illuminated by thunderous munitions, the sharp cracks of gunfire, and the circadian hum of helicopters flying overhead. These sounds would leave trauma in the minds of both him and my father, and it would lead them both down completely different paths.
 
In this episode, I am honored to share my conversation with Venerable De Hong, the co-founder of the Engaged Buddhist Alliance, a Buddhist organization that works with individuals in the California prison system, helping them to cultivate mindfulness and meditation practices.
 
De Hong's journey from Vietnam to California is difficult to fathom as I was born with some degree of privilege. At the age of 18, escaping communist Vietnam with his younger brother, De Hong became a refugee. At the mercy of strangers, he navigated the difficulties of immigrating to the United States. With no working knowledge of English and only $10 to his name, he eventually graduated college, became a U.S. citizen, and acclimated to American life, and it is there that it seems his Dharma path began. Like many of us in the United States, he became overworked and overwhelmed, eventually finding refuge in Buddhism, the religion of this homeland, taking the ordination vows and training of a Buddhist monk.
 
Informed by the teachings of the Buddha, Venerable De Hong was drawn to enter the prison systems and serve those that society has deemed irredeemable. His tools are direct and simple but have had a profound impact on the lives of those he serves. De Hong feels strongly that the Dharma—the teachings of the Buddha—is a bell of mindfulness that reminds us to look directly into the suffering of the world and offer a way out of the suffering, to apply the great medicine of compassion.
 
With letters, books, meditation training, and the gift of presence, De Hong and the Engaged Buddhist Alliance helps turn the wheel away from unspeakable trauma, helping prisoners find their original good nature, and allowing them to begin the process of touching the world with more loving hands, hearts, and minds. One day at a time, one being at a time, the Venerable De Hong transmutes and transforms the old migratory trauma of war-torn landscapes into pure lands of joy.
 
Connected across space and time by war and religion, I am happy to call him my friend, and my true brother.
 
Now, it's time to learn how trauma passes through cultures, across borders, into bloodlines, over oceans, and takes root in prisons, understanding that no matter what pain we've experienced, there is always hope for change, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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Ep. 107 - The Hinge Moment - Beacon Series Ft. Reverend Shannon Fleck - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 107 - The Hinge Moment - Beacon Series Ft. Reverend Shannon Fleck - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

February 9, 2021
Find the Good News, Episode 107, “The Hinge Moment,” A Beacon Series conversation featuring Reverend Shannon Fleck, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches
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Take a good look around you, at the people in your community, the leaders, the ministers, the people in positions of authority or power, and pay attention to what you see? Do they look like you, think like you, and generally believe the same things you believe?
 
On reflection, and if I'm being really honest about it, that's what I've experienced most of my life. For the most part, I could easily fit in anywhere, especially if I kept my mouth shut and my thoughts to myself. As long as I behaved and didn't push the boundaries of the status quo then the unseen hand was generally welcoming.
 
When we're not personally running into boundaries it's easy to think that everything is alright in the world for everyone, especially when our focus is dialed in on our own needs. What about everyone else outside that narrow tunnel, the people in our communities that don't see themselves represented in the positions of power or authority, those who can't easily slide on the rails of the system by simply playing along?
 
For whatever the reason— religion, race, financial status, sexuality—we have human brothers and sisters that aren't invited to the table of privilege. Further, many in privileged positions have been curating the systems to keep it that way by perpetuating outdated secular norms. This is the precise territory that Reverend Shannon Fleck operates, and it's why I asked her to visit with me on Find the Good News.
 
Reverend Fleck is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, a coalition of faith communities, Christian denominations, interfaith organizations, and secular nonprofits that work to connect society to faith-based communities.
 
This mission and this conversation are personal for Shannon. She holds, as do I, that people are informed by what they see, and when they do not see themselves properly represented they are actually being held back from the fullness of humanity, effectively stunting their growth into their full potential, neutering communities from the enrichment that diversity and variety brings.
 
Reverend Fleck is a Christian faith leader that is publicly addressing the very real and present issues that many Churches are not addressing. While she isn't a fan of the particularly partisan marriage of religion-and-politics, she does lean her Christian faith directly into restorative justice, as well as the avoidance of umbrella terms that simply placate and maintain old social norms.

 

Shannon wraps her arms around a grace that is inviting, a grace of inclusion, and refuses to sacrifice people against the threshing stone of theology. Reverend Shannon Fleck and the coalition she represents are very concerned with how to represent people, ensuring that they can see themselves sitting at the table.

 
Now, it's time to check our privilege, get informed, consider some personal actions and changes, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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LEARN MORE ABOUT REV. SHANNON FLECK >> https://www.facebook.com/shannonmfleck 

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Ep. 106 - The Escape Pod - Ft. James Hiatt - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 106 - The Escape Pod - Ft. James Hiatt - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

February 4, 2021
Ep. 106 - The Escape Pod - Ft. James Hiatt, Interim Worship Leader at University Methodist Church in Lake Charles, Louisiana

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It wasn't hard to come up with a proper reflection for my conversation with James Hiatt. James and I met online in overlapping territory, and it was clear from the very beginning that I'd discovered a spiritual brother.
 
While our personal stories are very different, we have somehow found our way to a common road wide enough to share, and there's plenty of space for others. What was clear from the jump is that James has opened his heart to wisdom, over and again, and in doing so he has expanded the boundaries of what we assume to know.
 
This conversation has fibers of rebellion and doubt, bound up with the nutriments of healing and hope. More than anything, James and I talk about Jesus, which acted as a much-needed inhalation of clean, fresh, rejuvenating spirit.
 
James comes from a place of recovery that has been infused with a mystical perspective and understanding that fuels his passion for inclusivity. The truth is that it is a very rare and healing pleasure to speak so openly and freely with someone about Jesus, God, and the Christ.
 
James showed me a face of Christ that I am so fondly attracted to, and that is the face of Christ that I see planted firmly in the world, out in the wild, with us, not separate from us. He reminds me of the high value of being with the people of the world—in the world—as they are, instead of preparing some grand escape from the worries and woes.
 
It leavens my heart to be able to share this intimate visit with you.
 
Now, it's time to lay aside theology and preconceived notions, prepare to have the temple razed and built anew, then press play on a little good news.

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Ep. 105 - The Dark Heart - Beacon Series Ft. Lisa Diane McCall - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 105 - The Dark Heart - Beacon Series Ft. Lisa Diane McCall - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

January 26, 2021
You’re listening to Find the Good News, Episode 105, “The Dark Heart,” A Beacon Series conversation featuring Lisa Diane McCall, life coach and author of The Rhythm of the Soul: A Journey of Loss and Discovery
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Have you ever made a decision, with no hesitation, that you knew would change your life? A choice that was so clear, so pure, that you could almost perceive the path it would lead you down? That's precisely the type of decision Lisa Diane McCall made when she decided to go on a vision quest in the Sahara Desert under the ancient and experienced guidance of the Tuareg nomads.
 
Lisa has shared much of the magic and life-changing mysticism she experienced in the Sahara through her book, "The Rhythm of the Soul: A Journey of Loss and Discovery," an enchanting work of vibrant fiction—existing in a unique category she has called "Magical Realism"—which is informed by Lisa's very real and transformative Saharan quests.
 
Lisa has tooled her personal longings and nomadic travels into good works for others, drawing on her diverse background and training in biology, anthropology, international health, vision questing, and shamanism.
 
I felt a quickening in my visit with Lisa, a siblinghood that I seek and deeply long to experience more often. Worlds apart, I understood how in sharing this conversational space together we might invite others to seek out and experience a quest of their own.
 
We spoke of wonderful, elevated, transformational things, and I feel I am better for having been invited into Lisa McCall's circle.
 
Now, it's time to heed the call to visit far away, ancient lands. Allow your imagination to soar on warm Saharan winds. Rest your mind around crackling embers. Sooth your soul under the cool desert moon, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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Ep. 104 - The Healthy Triggers - Beacon Series Ft. Laura Zam - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 104 - The Healthy Triggers - Beacon Series Ft. Laura Zam - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

January 19, 2021
Ep. 104—The Healthy Triggers—A Beacon Series conversation featuring Laura Zam, Sexuality Educator, Certified Trauma Professional, and author of The Pleasure Plan: One Woman's Search for Sexual Healing

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When I read Laura Zam's book, "The Pleasure Plan," I could clearly see how her work with trauma and its effects on human sexuality would be of great value to me personally.
 
In her book, Laura opens up about her own traumatic experiences, sharing very candid details that created serious intimacy issues, not only with her partners but with herself.
 
If you listen to this show often, you know that I advocate exploring our inner workings, going precisely to the pain to apply healing light. Laura, it seems, approves the same course of action. By taking this path herself, she has turned what she discovered into a source of wellness, pleasure, and sexual healing for others.
 
I was surprised to learn that "The Pleasure Plan" was her first book in our conversation. She has a natural storytelling ability, a gift of drawing the reader into each situation, painting fine lines and fleshing out details, adding volume to the spaces and circumstances she shares.
 
Laura cuts right through the noise by saying what needs to be said, even if the subjects seem taboo, and her comfort in sharing discomfort put me at ease. In this episode, I opened up and talked about things I've never spoken of before. I believe that is because Laura created a space of listening, love, and genuine care. She understands that for people to speak freely about traumatic experiences—particularly sexual trauma—they need to know they are safe and witnessed with eyes of non-judgment.
 
Human beings are sexual creatures, and sex should be a source of joy and pleasure, not a fearful reminder of sorrow, shame, or pain. Thankfully, there are people in this world like Laura Zam that understand this, and more, they put themselves on personal missions to help others.
 
Now, it's time to get comfortable—I mean, really, really comfortable—open yourself to the idea that there might be something just for you in this conversation, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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Ep. 103 - The Phoenix and the Dragon - Beacon Series Ft. Christine Arylo - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 103 - The Phoenix and the Dragon - Beacon Series Ft. Christine Arylo - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

January 7, 2021

Ep. 103 - The Phoenix and the Dragon - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Christine Arylo, author of "Overwhelmed & Over It: Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered & Sustained in a Chaotic World" by New World Library

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Welcome to the first episode of 2021. I'm not sure that I could have handpicked a much more relevant guest to kick off the new year than author, feminine leadership advisor, and feminine leadership advisor Christine Arylo.
 
Christine agreed to visit with me on Find the Good News to discuss her new book, "Overwhelmed & Over It: Embrace Your Power to Stay Centered & Sustained in a Chaotic World." The new book is directly pointed at women who are facing the merry-go-round of pressures that often lead to system burnout.
 
What I found in reading this new work, and in my dynamic visit with Christine, was that the stresses of keeping all the floats balanced out, especially in the wildly chaotic times we've seen throughout 2020, has an equally corrosive effect on men as well.
 
Christine helped me realize some old, self-sacrificing habits I've fallen into and perpetuated throughout my adult life. By labeling these habits as "compassion," I have basically been giving myself permission to self destruct.
 
Christine's mission is to help beings develop healthier decisions and actions that can lead through the sticky chaos patterns that dominate us. I believe that applying even a portion of what Christine shares can help bring a richer, fuller life into fruition.
 
Now, it's time to lay down the endless array of tasks, responsibilities, sacrificing, and outdated approaches you may be using to get through your days, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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BUY YOUR COPY OF "OVERWHELMED & OVER IT" >> www.FindTheGood.News/BookShop 

EXPLORE NEW WORD LIBRARY >> https://www.newworldlibrary.com/Books.aspx 

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SUPPORT CARE-HELP OF SULPHUR >> http://care-help.org/ 

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Ep. 102 - The Tumbleweed Tree - Beacon Series Ft. John Wackman & Elizabeth Knight - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 102 - The Tumbleweed Tree - Beacon Series Ft. John Wackman & Elizabeth Knight - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

December 16, 2020

Ep. 102 - The Tumbleweed Tree - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. John Wackman & Elizabeth Knight, co-authors of "Repair Revolution: How Fixers Are Transforming Our Throwaway Culture" by New World Library

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Sometimes an episode release date aligns perfectly with a special occasion that makes the content of the conversation even more relevant. As it turns out, my conversation with John Wackman and Elizabeth Knight, co-authors of the new book Repair Revolution: How Fixers Are Transforming Our Throwaway Culture, would be one of those episodes.
 
Each year, as we approach the Christmas-New Year season, my mind lingers on the incessant pulling-and-hauling that is about to begin, the vacillation between the acquisition of shiny new items, and the inevitable shucking of used goods, many that were perhaps obtained only a year before. I've struggled through these seasons for a long time, and anyone that has been willing to lend me an ear during this season has probably had to suffer through one of my diatribes about re-sanctifying this time of year, redirecting our energies on peace, mercy, and goodwill toward others, instead of another perpetual round of trinkets and gadgets that will bloat the landfills of tomorrow.
 
My personal practice is something I call "secondhand sacred," which, in short, means finding spirit, fresh meaning, and new uses for forgotten, discarded, and broken things. I was happy to find many alignments to this practice in Repair Revolution, and even more during my visit with John and Elizabeth.
 
The crucial element of this revolution comes in the form of "repair cafés," which are essentially gatherings of generous fixers and tinkers with a variety of expert skills at fixing our stuff. As John and Elizabeth explain, people line up at these repair cafés with their band-aided and broken items.
 
Whether it's a shirt that needs mending, a blender that won't blend, a record player that won't play, or a lamp that won't light, it seems there is no end to the knowledge and willingness of fixers to teach people how to bring their cracked and crooked items back to life. Not only do people get their items repaired, but they learn firsthand how to make these fixes themselves.
 
It really is revolutionary, yet so simple, this idea that someone can be taught how to make a simple repair, seek out the parts and extend the life of their utilized and treasured belongings. Beyond the transfer of know-how, John, Elizabeth, and all the fixers and tinkers get to hear the stories attached to so many of the precious items that come through the doors of the repair cafés.
 
There are many items in my life that have moved from a simple utility, transformed into the stuff of legend through the life that wielded it. Maybe you have items like this; a sewing machine, a rocker, a hammer, a skillet, or pot.
 
It is certainly easy to click through and have a new item delivered to you, but just because we can doesn't mean that we should. There is a cumulative impact on our environment when we live this way, and I would go further still and say that it also has an impact on our souls.
 
Maybe, the repair revolution isn't just about fixing our broken belongings. Maybe, it's also about repairing ourselves and the fractured relationship we have with our belongings and world.
 
Now, it's time to rethink old habits, take a pause before tossing something out, consider the interconnected nature of the world, and our place in it. Now, tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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BUY YOUR COPY OF "REPAIR REVOLUTION" >> https://bookshop.org/books/repair-revolution-how-fixers-are-transforming-our-throwaway-culture/9781608686605 

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Ep. 101 - The Firefly Entanglement - Beacon Series Ft. Kim Chestney - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 101 - The Firefly Entanglement - Beacon Series Ft. Kim Chestney - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

December 9, 2020

Ep. 101 - The Firefly Entanglement - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Kim Chestney, author of "Radical Intuition: A Revolutionary Guide to Using Your Inner Power" by New World Library

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Have you ever had a feeling, a hunch, or an inner knowing that seemed to guide you through a series of right actions? Maybe it was a feeling about a space, a place, a person, or a particular circumstance. If you followed the promptings of that feeling, did you find the end result to be better than what you'd originally assumed?
 
Kim Chestney, my guest on Find the Good News and author of the new book, "Radical Intuition: A Revolutionary Guide to Using Your Inner Power," has made accessing and utilizing this inner knowing her life's work.
 
I sincerely love the matter-of-fact way Kim approaches the topic of personal intuition, bringing it outside the sphere of "woo", and down to a practical, approachable level. She teaches us how to put intuition to work in our ordinary lives which, ironically, reveals the extraordinary connection that we have with the people, experiences, and world around us.
 
We live in wild times, filled with a lot of uncertainty, but Kim encourages us to lean on our inner-knowing, an underutilized natural sense that helps us perfectly steer the ships of our lives as we navigate potentially choppy waters.
 
With so much angst, anxiety, and discord around us, it is easy to feel like a victim. Kim Chestney reveals that we have more help built into us than we realize, and the uncanny thing is that it's been there all along.
 
I sincerely enjoyed my visit with Kim, and my intuition tells me you'll leave this talk with new insights, just as I did.
 
Now, it's time to shake off some of the structure, lay down the stress of layered does-and-don'ts, prepare to go on a hunt for the still, small voice inside you, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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MEET KIM CHESTNEY >> https://www.kimchestney.com/ 

BUY YOUR COPY OF "RADICAL INTUITION" >> https://bookshop.org/books/radical-intuition-a-revolutionary-guide-to-using-your-inner-power/9781608687145 

EXPLORE NEW WORD LIBRARY >> https://www.newworldlibrary.com/Books.aspx 

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BONUS - The Teasers - Episodes 54–100 - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

BONUS - The Teasers - Episodes 54–100 - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

December 8, 2020

Find the Good News has been a positive experience for me, and a project that has allowed me to use my communication, design, and production skills paired with my deep desire to reflect on the human condition, that is to mean the great questions of why we are here, who we are, what is goodness, and what inspires some to right action.

Find the Good News has been an evolving project, and in episode 54 I decided to change the edit a bit by pulling a short clip from the guest, placing it at the beginning of the episode, giving listeners a teaser that frames the tone of the episode.

Recently, Find the Good News reached the milestone of 100 numbered episodes. I thought it might be fun to take all of the teasers from the beginning of each episode, 54 through 100, and place them into one listening experience. While it's not a conversation, it is a quick glimpse into the overall expanse, depth, and variety of conversations this format has created for my guests and me.

If you've thought about listening to Find the Good News, but have never pressed play, I'd encourage you to do so on this bonus feature I've titled "The Teasers."

Each episode's title and title card should appear on the screen, so if you're listening and feel you'd like to listen to that episode, just pause and visit www.FindTheGood.News. There, you'll find all recent episodes, the full line up, and my Beacon Series collection.

Thank you for taking this Good News journey with me.

-Brother Oran Parker

Ep. 100 - The Power of Three - Beacon Series Ft. Michael J. Gelb - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 100 - The Power of Three - Beacon Series Ft. Michael J. Gelb - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

December 1, 2020

Ep. 100 - The Power of Three - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Michael J. Gelb, author of "Mastering the Art of Public Speaking: 8 Secrets to Transform Fear and Supercharge Your Career" by New World Library

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We made it, my friends and listeners. Welcome to the 100th numbered episode of my Find the Good News podcast.
 
When I think deeply on the line-up of good people doing good works that I’ve visited with over the past two years, I understand how each of them has been like a teacher. They’ve allowed me to discover and learn without judgment, and they’ve opened up their tender hearts to me without fear of new wounds. I’ve spoken to neighbors and friends putting their good news into action right here in the Louisiana gulf coast communities we call home, and I’ve expanded the Good News signal to bring you visits with unique thinkers and doers that are doing good works throughout the world.
 
In the very beginning, I recall a thought that if I could just produce three quality conversations, get them out into the ether, then others would come, and together we could put something good out into the world. Oddly enough, my guest in this special 100th episode, Michael J. Gelb, propagates a similar philosophy in his good work as a speaker, motivator, writer, and teacher.
 
As listeners of Find the Good News may know, I suffered from social anxiety for many, many years. This anxiety kept me away from many joyful and beneficial activities in my life. The ability to sit with this microphone and share with you openly and honestly is the result of decades of hard work. In Michael’s latest book, "Mastering the Art of Public Speaking: 8 Secrets to Transform Fear and Supercharge Your Career,” he cuts right into the heart of fear itself, offering advice, perspectives, and practical thought exercises to help transmute the energies of fear and anxiety.
 
The reality is that life is relationship, and with relationship comes communication. Good communication, free from fear and anxiety, crafted to serve the common good of all beings, is a good work. I believe that serving the common good is the tie that binds across the expanse of Michael Gelb’s body of work. Just looking at the titles of his books you’ll find words like creativity, connection, healing, innovation, thinking, mastering, power, learning, discovery, and genius. When a being chooses to point all of these faculties at the well being of others, goodness blooms.
 
I am thankful to Michael Gelb for being a part of this milestone episode. I am grateful to New World Library for connecting me with Michael, and so many other wonderful authors. I am humbled that so many have taken the time to share the right-round-table with me, whether in person or virtually. 
 
The world is always changing. I don’t know what the next 100 conversations will bring, but I’m ready to listen. Whatever I hear, I’m going to continue to learn, and I’ll continue to put forth my best effort to use each of these visits to grow a good heart.
 
Now, it’s time to get take another look at your anxieties and fears, let the butterflies of nervousness become the wings of excitement, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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MEET MICHAEL J. GELB >> https://michaelgelb.com/ 

BUY YOUR COPY OF "MASTERING THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING" >> https://bookshop.org/books/mastering-the-art-of-public-speaking-8-secrets-to-transform-fear-and-supercharge-your-career-9781713547259/9781608686278  

EXPLORE NEW WORD LIBRARY >> https://www.newworldlibrary.com/Books.aspx 

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Ep. 99 - The Mother’s Refuge - Beacon Series Ft. Paria Hassouri, MD - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 99 - The Mother’s Refuge - Beacon Series Ft. Paria Hassouri, MD - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

November 23, 2020

Ep. 99 - The Mother's Refuge - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Paria Hassouri, MD, author of "Found in Transition: A Mothers' Evolution During Her Child's Gender Change " by New World Library

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It fascinates me how easy it can be to congratulate myself on being open-minded, all-inclusive, and accepting of others. My self-praise doesn’t end there, as I’m always ready, it seems, to easily forgive myself for the secret judgments and grudges that I don’t speak out loud for the world to hear. It’s not very difficult to envision oneself as some type of enlightened being with an expansive and compassionate heart when we’re never presented with information or circumstances that threaten the levees that protect us from all the varieties of human existence that color our world.
 
This may seem like a strange way to lead you into my conversation with Paria Hassouri, MD, author of Found in Transition: A Mother’s Evolution During Her Child’s Gender Change, but after reading her book and visiting with her, I quickly learned that for all the heart-and-mind work that I claim to do, I still have old mazes to navigate, filled with lingering fears.
 
Paria’s work is an honest one, a memoir free from the veneer of personal perfection that we’ve grown accustomed to, a type of tailored-for-consumption presentation that I myself am guilty of.
 
I was watching my mind as I read this work of hers, looking to see what thoughts would arise, almost as if I already knew on some level that I would feel the sting of my own boundaries to accept others for who there are. The truth was that I was afraid to meet the limits of my understanding. What I discovered, in Paria’s book and in our conversation, was that the way to expand my love was to meet those limits and not turn away.
 
The journey of shock, pain, confusion, acceptance, renewal, and love that Paria and her daughter go through is enlightening. It has not only given me a more nuanced understanding of my expanded human family, but it also provided me the opportunity to feel textures and wounds inside me that I’d never touched before. When we are given the chance to see old wounds, we can lay hands on them to heal.
 
I am thankful for Paria’s courage and willingness to share her book and time with me.
 
Now, it’s time to lay old fears aside, seek out our tender hearts, make room for all the varied children of the earth, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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MEET PARIA HASSOURI, MD >> https://www.pariahassouri.com/ 

BUY YOUR COPY OF "FOUND IN TRANSITION" >> https://bookshop.org/books/found-in-transition-a-mother-s-evolution-during-her-child-s-gender-change/9781608687084 

EXPLORE NEW WORD LIBRARY >> https://www.newworldlibrary.com/Books.aspx 

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Ep. 98 - The Character Lines - Beacon Series Ft. Bridgit Dengel Gaspard - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 98 - The Character Lines - Beacon Series Ft. Bridgit Dengel Gaspard - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

November 5, 2020

Ep. 98 - The Character Lines - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, author of "The Final 8th: Enlist Your Inner Selves to Accomplish Your Goals" by New World Library

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If you’ve been listening to Find the Good News for any length of time then you’ve probably picked up on my personal interest in exploring the landscape of the human mind and heart.
 
As Find the Good News makes its way toward 100 episodes, it’s clear to me that the good work this show might be doing—through the vehicle of intimate listening and sharing—could be leading others to ask that most-profound question that I’ve been asking most of my life; who am I, really?
 
In this episode, I visit with Bridgit Dengel Gaspard, author of the new book, “The Final 8th: Enlist Your Inner Selves to Accomplish Your Goals.” 
 
Bridgit helps her clients discover and engage their inner world through the voice dialogue method, which I am finding to be an indispensable holistic tool.
 
What I discovered in reading Bridgit’s new book is that there were very clear and strong voices, characters, or aspects of myself that I’d never really acknowledged. Many of these characters embody some of my best and worst characteristics, adopting them as their full identity. Some are a great source of strength, and many clearly developed out of personal pain, fear, and guilt. While they may have served me well during times of hardship or strife, their loud voices have steered me away from many joys.
 
In this visit with Bridgit, she encourages me, and you, to open an active dialogue with these manifold inner beings, hearing what they have to say by lending our own voice so they can express their fears and hopes.
 
Bridgit eagerly and openly allowed me to share and lovingly provided practices to help me further along in my own holistic journey of self-healing and discovery.
 
Her book really is a treasure, and I plan to put what she shares into practice. My conversation with her has lingered in my mind for many days.
 
I think I’m starting to see and understand the origins of these many Orans that are perhaps looking to be healed, or lend a helping hand when this particular Oran needs it because, in truth, they are me.
 
Now, it’s time to take a look inside yourself and ask the great question, “who am I, really," then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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MEET BRIDGiT DENGEL GASPARD >> http://www.bridgit-dengel-gaspard.com/

BUY YOUR COPY OF "THE FINAL 8TH" >> https://bookshop.org/books/the-final-8th-enlist-your-inner-selves-to-accomplish-your-goals/9781608686919

EXPLORE NEW WORD LIBRARY >> https://www.newworldlibrary.com/Books.aspx 

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Ep. 97 - The Step Towards Joy - Beacon Series Ft. Kathy Callahan - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 97 - The Step Towards Joy - Beacon Series Ft. Kathy Callahan - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

October 28, 2020

Ep. 97 - The Step Towards Joy - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Kathy Callahan, author of "101 Rescue Puppies: One Family's Story of Fostering Dogs, Love, and Trust" by New World Library

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I have to be honest; lately, I’ve been feeling a little burned out, and why wouldn’t I? Like you, I’ve been on this train without breaks that has 2020 painted on the side, and I suppose all the bumps and rickety tracks have rattled my brain and frayed my nerves. We’re all doing the best we can do with the hand we’ve been dealt.
 
I can testify that a human mind, my human mind, needs a reprieve from the battering inflicted by news cycles choked with fires, storms, politics, and pandemics. Recently, my break came at me sideways in the form of the lovely little book, “101 Rescue Puppies: One Family’s Story of Fostering Dogs, Love, and Trust” by Kathy Callahan. What I was expecting was a quick read about the world of animal rescue work and fostering, but what I got was a shot of joy right to the heart, a serum for the gloomy settling mood I could feel draping all over me.
 
In this conversation with Kathy, I discover that her road to animal fostering didn’t come from some lifelong adoration of animals, but rather it developed over time, growing into other parts of her life and the lives of those she encountered through her good work. Her much-needed message, which arrived in the form of perpetual puppy love, is that a human doesn’t have to wait for the perfect circumstances or training to arrive before they step toward joy.
 
What Kathy believes and practices is that by making that first move forward, good will compound upon good, love grows from love, and happiness blossoms and spreads in ways that could not be conceived of at the beginning of the journey.
 
Kathy Callahan reminded me of the priceless value of connection to the world of creatures beyond my own species, and her book proves that when people show compassion to other creatures their hearts expand, making more room for love, hope, and healing.
 
Now, it’s time to get out of the 2020 grind, find your faith in the great human capacity to do the right things, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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MEET KATHY CALLAHAN >> https://www.puppypicks.com/ 

BUY YOUR COPY OF "101 RESCUE PUPPIES" >> https://bookshop.org/books/101-rescue-puppies-one-family-s-story-of-fostering-dogs-love-and-trust/9781608686568 

EXPLORE NEW WORD LIBRARY >> https://www.newworldlibrary.com/Books.aspx 

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SUPPORT CARE-HELP OF SULPHUR >> http://care-help.org/ 

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Ep. 96 - The Ph.D. in the Glitch - Beacon Series Ft. Hersch Wilson - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 96 - The Ph.D. in the Glitch - Beacon Series Ft. Hersch Wilson - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

September 24, 2020

Ep. 96 - The Ph.D. in the Glitch - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Hersch Wilson, author of "Firefighter Zen: A Field Guide To Thriving In Tough Times" by New World Library

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So often, the guests I’ve spoken with on Find the Good News have been relevant to what was going on in my life, or in the world at the time. This hasn’t been intentional, or by design, necessarily; I talk to the guests in turn, accepting whatever good people come into my life through the Good News signal.
 
It’s a fascinating thing, really, to speak deeply with a guest and adopt, or understand, their worldview for the duration of these talks. I take the things we discuss seriously, and I’m always looking for something applicable and relevant that I can put to work in my very ordinary life. When I visited with Hersch Wilson, author of the new book “Firefighter Zen: A Field Guide To Thriving In Tough Times,” I had no idea that only a week after our conversation I would be asked to put everything in our talk, and his book, to the test.
 
You see, Hersch’s book is all about finding meaning, resilience, hope, and your personal metal during the difficult days that are sure to come, moments when everything you’ve trusted in crumbles before your eyes. Hersch, who has been a firefighter since 1986, calls these moments of discord and disruption “the glitch."
 
On August 27th, only 9 days after our conversation, Hurricane Laura barreled through Southwest Louisiana, and I—along with all the citizens of our region—got to experience the glitch first hand. Everything that I had read in Hersch’s book, and had taken away from our conversation, immediately came into play.
 
One day you’re planning your next podcast episode, tightening the screws on your existing comforts, thinking about how to navigate the existing glitches caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the approaching civil boiling point, made worse by divisive, power-mad politicians in an election year, and the next you’re quickly making evacuation preparations, shoring up resources, leaving stability behind, eventually returning to a powerless region with no potable water, filled with shattered businesses, crippled infrastructures, desperate citizens, and obliterated homes. This was the glitch, and I, along with many others, was in it.
 
I thought of my conversation with Hersch often over then past weeks of stabilization and recovery. Hersch Wilson has found a way to navigate the glitch with practical wisdom and grace.
 
In this conversation, and in his book, Hersch does not skirt around difficult subjects and chooses instead to deal with life as it really is. He takes all the unsavory parts life brings as a whole, feeling its sometimes coarse, bumpy skin, then in the midst of it all, he offers perspective to help us do more than just survive; he shows us how to thrive.
 
I didn’t know just how grateful I would be to have read Hersch’s book in advance of the storm. Having the opportunity to visit with him ahead of this natural disaster ended up being a great gift. It was a blessing in the glitch, and I hope that our visit, and his book, will be the same for you.
 
Now, it’s time to look at things just as they are without the preconceived notions of this-and-that, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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MEET HERSCH WILSON >> http://www.herschwilson.com/ 

BUY YOUR COPY OF "FIREFIGHTER ZEN" >> https://bookshop.org/books/firefighter-zen-a-field-guide-to-thriving-in-tough-times/9781608686889 

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SUPPORT CARE-HELP OF SULPHUR >> http://care-help.org/ 

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Ep. 95 - The Jewel in the Ashes - Beacon Series Ft. Robin Easton - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 95 - The Jewel in the Ashes - Beacon Series Ft. Robin Easton - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

September 13, 2020

Ep. 95 - The Jewel in the Ashes - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Robin Easton, author of "Naked In Eden: My Adventure and Awakening in the Australian Rainforest."

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Finding the right words to introduce my guest for this episode isn’t difficult. In fact, as I sat and meditated on our conversation, waiting for sweet, descriptive honey to drip from my mind to my lips, the most simple words I’ve ever used to frame any guest of Find the Good News came to mind. Robin Easton, my dear human sister that you are about to meet, is the human embodiment of a radiant, glowing, sacred heart.
 
Every single conversation I’ve had on Find the Good News has blessed me in some way. I’ve gained new perspectives, found clarity in my existing paradigms, and watched as clunky ideas and forms of reasoning were turned to ash, fertile soil for fresh spiritual fruits. In this very intimate conversation with Robin Easton, author of “Naked in Eden: My Adventure and Awakening in the Australian Rainforest,” I listened anew as we traveled each of these cycles for several revolutions. 
 
Through this show I have made many new and diverse relationships all across the world, meeting people living lives of goodness that I’d never dreamed of connecting with. In traversing these intermingled online circles I met Robin, and it was clear from the jump that she was a generous communicator with a willingness to pour out love and prose like a living fountain.
 
Nature seemed to create a common bond between us, and it was through this thread that I learned about her book, “Naked in Eden,” a very personal memoir of her spiritual awakening in the Australian rainforest. I purchased the book and was mesmerized by the rich detail and palpable way she shared the entire experience. This book, and Robin’s special gift of revealing her naked spiritual heart, drew me in alongside her as she experiences an integration with the natural world that so few of us shackled to our cities could ever experience.
 
When Robin agreed to visit with me on Find the Good News, I was thrilled. Once technology made it possible for us to connect, her good heart shimmered like a multi-faceted jewel. I believe Robin is walking the path of the Bodhisattva, a giver, a true lamp for those desiring light.
 
It is my great hope that you will feel what I felt in speaking with her, that you will hear the elemental outpouring of love in her voice, a love that comes from a human heart that is ready to embrace the entire world.
 
Now, it’s time to loosen your grip on what you think you know, clear your mind of preconceived notions, open your heart as far as you are able, then tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS >> https://www.findthegood.news/donate/ 

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MEET ROBIN EASTON >> https://www.facebook.com/robin.easton.589 or http://www.robineaston.com/ 

BUY YOUR COPY OF "NAKED IN EDEN" >> https://bookshop.org/books/naked-in-eden-my-aventure-and-awakening-in-the-australian-rainforest/9781734428100

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SUPPORT CARE-HELP OF SULPHUR >> http://care-help.org/ 

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Ep. 94 - The Guardian - Beacon Series Ft. Linda Carroll - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 94 - The Guardian - Beacon Series Ft. Linda Carroll - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

August 18, 2020

Ep. 94 - The Guardian - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Diana Carroll, author of "Love Skills: The Keys to Unlocking Lasting, Wholehearted Love," published by New World Library

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I think it would be fair to say that generally, life is a relationship. We’re in some type of relationship from the day that we are conceived. Our first relationship is to our mother, then those that raise us, extended family, perhaps our classmates, teachers, and friends.
 
Depending on our growing awareness, perhaps we are able to perceive the textured nuances of each of these connections, and further still, how the synergy is affected through our circumstantial relationship to culture, community, and environment.
 
For many, there comes a point where a devoted, intentional bond is made with another human being, and the factors that draw them together are manifold. I would call this a bond of love, a sacred partnership. If nurtured, it can grow far beyond the early entanglements that caused the initial attraction.
 
This sounds wonderful, and it can be, yet many relationships still fail, and we’re left wondering what we could have done differently, and how we can use more skillful means with others. Linda Carroll, the author of “Love Skills: The Keys to Unlocking Lasting, Wholehearted Love," presents a resource to do just that.
 
Linda’s book was a walk down memory lane for me, stopping to examine where I’ve been, the choices I’ve made, the “why” behind the things I’ve done when in relationship. It helped put fresh eyes on present relationships, and how past patterns and experiences could be affecting intimacy—for better or for worse—revealing specific actions I can take to better the quality of my relationships.
 
My conversation with Linda was pleasant and personal, and she is clearly an observant, thoughtful listener with deep insights on human companionship and love. There is no doubt in my mind that she genuinely wants people to have much healthier and deeper relationships.
 
Considering the complexities caused by extreme distancing, close proximity, or isolation many may feel during the times we live in, perhaps there is no better time for a book like “Love Skills” to come along.
 
Now, it’s time to tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS ON PATREON >> www.Patreon.com/FindTheGoodNews 

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MEET LINDA CARROLL >> https://lindaacarroll.com/

BUY YOUR COPY OF "LOVE SKILLS" >> https://bookshop.org/books/love-skills-the-keys-to-unlocking-lasting-wholehearted-love/9781608686230

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Ep. 93 - The Truth of Our Biases - Beacon Series Ft. Simran Jeet Singh - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 93 - The Truth of Our Biases - Beacon Series Ft. Simran Jeet Singh - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

July 15, 2020

Ep. 93 - The Truth Of Our Biases - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Professor Simran Jeet Singh—educator, writer, activist, and scholar.

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Sometimes I feel that I may have made a mistake when I named this podcast. Having a show called “Find the Good News” sets the precedent that my guests and I must only talk about positive things. While my end goal is to always lean our conversations toward goodness and good works, I realize fully that we can’t get there by ignoring the obvious troubles we are facing right now in the world.

Intentionally staring deeply into dark chasms filled with brokenness, suffering, despair, and injustice has been a part of my personal journey of awakening and healing since the very beginning, and if you’re a regular listener then you know I walk that path with the guests of this show. The most important part of that companionship is that we walk into those troubled places together, in support of one another, with an intention to learn from what we see and to bring information out that can be put to good work immediately.

My companion into the blight for this episode of “Find the Good News” is educator, writer, activist, and scholar Professor Simran Jeet Singh. Simran is regularly on the frontline of many conversations regarding issues of diversity, inclusion, and equity.

As an American citizen, and a devoted Sikh, Simran had to deal with many of these societal biases throughout his childhood, only to have those biases strengthened after the September 11th attacks in 2001. During our visit, he offered unique, firsthand perspectives that are honest about the truth of our biases.

In a country whose fabric is literally crafted from a manifold array of cultures, colors, and fibers, there is still a very strong tendency for those at the loom to bleach away the beautiful patterns that could emerge. The white-washing of history in an attempt to remove the stains and pains of the past is a very present reality.

As Simran and I discuss, it is absolutely critical that we acknowledge where we’ve been so we can heal the old multigenerational wounds inflicted by racism, bigotry, and an unwillingness to fully appreciate all the textures of humanity. He allowed me to speak with him openly, without judgment. He offered a brother’s ear, and heartfelt kindness.

The cyclical rhythms of injustice and ignorance have resulted in a swelling tidal rage that has crested the levies of apathy. Change is the law, and the flood of outrage that has emerged is a natural result of too much pain and discrimination for far too long. That is why I believe that conversations like the one I had with Simran Jeet Singh must happen more often. They are happening now.

As different as we each many seem on the surface, there is a human kinship and common dream of peace, equanimity, and well-being that can emerge if allies keep finding each other and working together. Visiting with Simran Jeet Singh filled me with an unbiased hope that it is possible.

Now, it’s time to tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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SUPPORT FIND THE GOOD NEWS ON PATREON >> www.Patreon.com/FindTheGoodNews 

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MEET PROFESSOR SIMRAN JEET SINGH >> https://www.simranjeetsingh.org/

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Ep. 92 - The Resonant Strings - Beacon Series Ft. Meido Moore Roshi - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

Ep. 92 - The Resonant Strings - Beacon Series Ft. Meido Moore Roshi - Find the Good News with Brother Oran

July 2, 2020

Ep. 92 - The Resonant Strings - A Beacon Series Interview Ft. Meido Moore Roshi, abbot of Korinji, a Rinzai Zen monastery, and author of "The Rinzai Zen Way: A Guide to Practice" by Shambala Publications.

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Zen. In the circles I’ve traveled it is a word that is often said and even more misunderstood.

Truth? I am still trying to understand it myself.

More truth? When I feel like I’ve built a nice and sturdy framework for it, the structure I’ve constructed topples to sticks and stones.

I laugh about it. I cry about it. I let go. I start again.

“This,” I think, “is Zen!" But is it?

It’s this question that lies at the heart of my conversation with Meido Moore Roshi, abbot of Korinji, a Rinzai Zen monastery in Wisconsin, where he transmits Zen Buddhist teachings that can find roots as far back as 5th century India.

Meido is an 86th-generation Zen dharma heir and a 48th-generation holder of the lineage descended from Rinzai Gigen.

The Rinzai Zen way, as instructed by Meido Moore Roshi, places particular emphasis on making use of the body as part of the practice, as well as fine arts, and internal energetic work. It was clear to me that he has an elemental connection and appreciation for the natural world, sharing this with his students by incorporating earth, air, fire, and water into their training. While there is certainly an aesthetic to Zen that is quite peaceful and minimalist, Meido is clear that the Rinzai way is much more akin to boot camp than a day at the spa.

In this conversation, Meido graciously helped clarify many of the concepts of Zen Buddhism, not least of all these three; What am I? What is this life for? Why is there suffering? Tucked in the green hills and farmlands of Madison, Wisconsin there is, at this very moment, an abbot and his students sincerely seeking the answers to these very questions. Wisdom and compassion are cultivated. The wheel of the dharma turns. Transmission occurs. I am reminded that it is good to have obtained this human existence.

“This," I think, “is Zen."

Now, it’s time to tune your attention to this Good News Beacon, and press play on a little good news.

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